1. Zolot, Joan PA


Nurses say salaries aren't commensurate with experience.

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Compensation for nurses decreased 3.1% from 2015 to 2016, for an average salary of $61,875, according to survey information collected from nearly 20,000 health care workers and reported in the Health eCareers 2016 Salary Guide. NP compensation, however, increased 5.3%, for an average salary of $100,549.


Because the U.S. population is growing and more Americans are aging, health care professionals are in demand, leading to higher pay for the majority of them. Besides NPs, compensation is up for physicians and surgeons, physician assistants (PAs), administrative personnel, nutritionists, and allied health professionals. It's also easier to change jobs because of shortages of health care professionals and many new positions in health care. Some 475,000 health care jobs were created in 2015.


Nurses were in the minority among health professionals in seeing their compensation decline despite a nurse shortage fueled by increased demand for nurses as many experienced nurses were exiting the workforce. Survey respondents cited job changes, reduced hours, elimination of bonuses or lower bonuses as reasons for their income decline.


While 57% of the health care professionals surveyed reported being happy with their current jobs and employers, nurses' opinions were mixed. Only 17% indicated they were very happy and planning to stay in their current position, and fewer than half said they were "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their salaries. Among nurses dissatisfied with compensation, the most common complaints were that salaries didn't match their experience or were lower than comparable jobs in the region.


Nurses also reported being concerned about increased work and patient loads-conditions directly attributable to the nursing shortage. Go to for more information.-Joan Zolot, PA